It’s been a month since WHO declared the new Covid-19 variant ‘the Omicron,’ the variant of concern (VOC).
The primary findings suggest this variant to be highly infectious, and the increased number of daily cases recently attests to that.
Showing the equivalent potential of the Delta variant, the Omicron is currently spreading across 38 countries with soaring numbers.
The good news is that it did not cause any deaths so far, but it does not diminish this variant’s severity, particularly on seniors.
The Omicron and the Vaccines
The biggest concern around the Omicron variant is its ability to evade the antibodies released into your body by the Covid-19 vaccines.
But the data is limited as of now, and the preliminary reports suggest vaccines will still protect from the substantial impact of the new variant.
Based on these reports, mounting the ‘memory response,’ the antibodies prevent serious illness in youngsters.
How about seniors? Will they respond to this variant as stronger as the younger population? Let’s find out!
Omicron in Seniors
The new variant is a potential threat for people with weak immunity – children and seniors. Particularly elders! The higher the age, the more threat this variant poses.
With the comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels, seniors are more susceptible to this variant.
Having said that, there is still uncertainty over the exact impact of the Omicron variant on the elderly population.
In any case, it is always better to practice strict Covid-19 protocols to prevent this variant reaching our homes and elderly living communities such as assisted living and skilled nursing homes.
Here are a few dos and don’ts elders need to follow to prevent contracting this highly infectious variant.
1. Continue to Follow Covid-19 Protocols:
- If you are someone who relaxed from adhering to the Covid-19 preventive measures, it’s time to act again.
- If you have been a strict follower of Covid-19 protocols, continue to do so.
- Wearing a facemask, washing hands, maintaining social distance, and getting vaccinated prove immensely effective in preventing this variant.
2. Wear Only Effective Facemasks:
- Masks made of cloth and other materials are ineffective as Omicron is a highly infectious variant.
- Using N95s, KF94s, or surgical masks effectively prevents the airborne Omicron around you.
- Use the masks that fit and the ones with adjustable braces so that it fits on your face without any gaps.
3.Use Air Purifiers:
- Using effective air purifiers and proper ventilation mitigates your elders’ risk of infection.
- Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and completely avoid using window glasses. They prevent free ventilation.
4. Booster Shots:
- Limited data is available on going for a booster shot for the completely vaccinated seniors.
- However, many medical scientists and doctors are suggesting seniors take booster shots.
- More antibodies in the body help them tackle the new variant from high ground. However, take your doctor’s advice before taking any action.
5.Have a Senior at Home? Be Extra-Cautious!
- Preventive measures followed by your seniors at home prove useless even if one family member fails to comply with safety.
- Follow every Covid-19 preventive protocol without any excuses when you are going out.
- When talking to your elder, wear a mask and maintain a safe distance.
1.Don’t Distance Yourself:
- It’s inhuman to distance yourself from your elders completely. They need company and human touch as much as you do.
- Follow safety measures but do not lock your elders completely.
2.Don’t Curb Socializing:
- Even if your elder is isolating or maintaining a safe distance from the family members, do not make them feel they are alone.
- Talk to your elders as much as you can. They need social interactions more than anything!
- We have a wealth of Covid knowledge, vaccines, and various treatment options available today than we first learned about Covid-19. Don’t let Omicron panic you.
- The omicron symptoms are identical to the other variants of Covid-19. Better options are available for omicron treatment.
Senior Care Amid Covid – Ways Assisted Living Aced It
Assisted living facilities, yet again, proved that following strict safety precautions, emergency medical response, and awareness can do wonders in the lives of elders.
Many seniors living out of these senior living communities did not have to face the distress of a regular society during the pandemic.
They did not miss human interactions, they continued to live their regular life, build friendships, manage their health, take care of their day-to-day care, pursue their hobbies, and experiencing the crown of life.
Knowing the ways of senior living, combined with effective operations mechanisms, these modern senior residential facilities remained as the protective shield for seniors from outside adversities without disconnecting them.
Follow Athulya Assisted Living blog for more updates on the Omicron virus and its impact on seniors.